Audi wasted little time prepping its new supercar for racing duty. Set to hit the race track next year is the new Audi R8 LMS car, which the automaker says will meet all the new GT3 requirements set for the 2016 racing season.
Compared to the current R8 LMS car, the new racer will sport a number of improvements. Power comes from the same 5.2-liter V-10 found in the production version, churning out at least 585 hp. It’ll be mated to a new six-speed sequential gearbox, and the engine control unit is also new.
Audi made a number of modifications to the Audi Space Frame for added strength, improved aerodynamics, and weight savings. The racer’s curb weight, for example, is about 2700 pounds, which is around 55 pounds less than the current race car. Like the production model, the new R8 LMS will employ a mix of aluminum and carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP). In all, the frame is 39 percent stiffer.
To improve airflow, the undercarriage is fully enclosed and includes an integrated rear diffusor. The rear wing is smaller and airflow into the cockpit is improved.
The R8 LMS boasts a number of notable safety features, including a steel roll cage and an Audi Protection Seat PS 1 that’s been cribbed from Audi’s Le Mans prototypes. Audi also turned to its LMP cars for rear crash technology. Additionally, the R8 LMS will feature an opening in the roof for improved rescue access, a method used in Audi’s DTM cars.
Audi says it’ll start taking orders for cars later this year, with deliveries expected to begin at the end of 2015.